Sophie Liu

Alumni Stories

Yang Sophie Liu

Starting my dream career after studying in Sydney

Sophie is an alumna from China who has graduated from the University of Sydney with a Doctor of Philosophy in Geotech and Geophysics in 2019. She can speak English and Mandarin and is currently based in Sydney.

Why did you choose this course?

After graduating from a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering, I developed a keen interest in geotechnical engineering. I wanted to learn more about how soil and rocks support large structures such as bridges, high-rise buildings and tunnels. I also wanted to understand what can impact soil and rock strength, including particle-particle interactions.

Why did you choose NSW?

It’s home to world-renowned universities offering diverse courses, exceptional research opportunities, and state-of-the-art facilities. In addition to these advantages, NSW provides a rich cultural experience, vibrant social scene and stunning natural landscapes.

Tell us about your experience

Studying in NSW was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I had access to world-class research facilities, vast online and library resources and invaluable support from my research supervisor and team. I also had the opportunity to attend international conferences and learn from renowned scholars in my field, exchange research ideas with my peers, and develop valuable connections in the academic community.

Did you work with employers or industry groups? If yes, how did it benefit your career?

I am very lucky to have worked as a geotechnical engineer for a large engineering consultancy during my studies. This gave me a wealth of practical real-world engineering experiences. It was truly exhilarating to see how engineering solutions could positively impact society.

Where are you working now?

I’m a Design Manager for Transport for NSW.

Why did you choose this career? 

 It’s a challenging and rewarding opportunity to manage complex projects and drive their success.

My role also keeps me up to date with the latest technology development in my field, and allows me to build strong relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders and lead project teams. This helps me deliver successful outcomes, which I find very rewarding.

Can you share any career advice for students or recent graduates?

 Believe in yourself and be persistent. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do. Set up your goal and work hard to achieve it.

Where do you live now?

I’m happily living and working in Sydney now. I consider this my second home.